5 reasons why you are right about doing a DTS
Guest post by Sven Stuhrmann
Six months of your life, people from all over the world whom you don’t know, cultures you’re unfamiliar with - deciding to do a Discipleship Training School (DTS) is a courageous thing! There are many questions you might have when applying for a DTS. What will the schedule be like? Will I get along with my roommates? What if I miss my family? I also understand that it might be the first time you’re away from home for an extended period of time.
While these are all things to be considered and thought about, I’d like to take you on a personal journey through which I got to discover wonderful benefits that lie in saying yes to this six month long adventure with God.
1. Planning & trusting God
I knew that my DTS adventure would cost me - time to plan, preparations as well as money to cover the school fees. However I am a planner. For me this comes naturally. And to embark on such an adventure without prepping for it would be my biggest nightmare. The time leading up to my DTS was an incredible season where I learned more about myself and my people skills, as well as revealing the true level of trust I had in God. Through working before my school started I had some money saved up, but it was by no means enough to cover the whole lecture & outreach phase. But as I continued doing what I could and saying yes to God, trusting that He would provide for me, I saw the finances come in and things fell into place. During lecture phase, I was able to make my last payments. Looking back, even the nerve racking moments of “oh my goodness, how am I supposed to do that?,” brought me closer to God and build my trust and faith in Him. I am glad I gave Him the opportunity to show up.
2. Cross cultural super-training
I grew up in a small German city with 11,000 people. The forest, wide open fields and adventurous hills were not far. To be honest, I was a little bit of a country-bumpkin. I always loved traveling and I always enjoyed meeting new people, though it was a new experience for me to be around many different cultures to such an extent. When I went to my DTS, we were a school of around 150 students. I believe we had around 20 nations represented. Each student brought their own life-experiences, their own cultural background, their language and - of course - their own expectations. I made friends who don’t use hot water to wash their dishes (it’s not a thing in every country), many of my American friends are not allowed to drink alcohol because of their church doctrine. I took me a while to understand that it’s not a given to sit down with the pastor and have a beer. We were a big mish-mash of people and I grew a lot in understanding others and be open-minded about each others differences.
3. The great commission and my global understanding
“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent?” (Romans 10:14+15, ESV)
Since I became a Christian I always knew that we were called to share our faith with those around us. But receiving biblical teaching on missions and going on outreach where I’ve encountered many people, hungry for the Gospel of Jesus, gave me a real understanding what the Great commission is about and how God’s truth literally holds the power of transforming nations. (By the way, there’s an amazing book by the name “The book that transforms nations” by Loren Cunningham.) I realized the importance of me being ready to go and be the hands and feet of Jesus, regardless of my location.
4. Amazing community
Being a Christian is something so special. All around the globe there are people who we can call brothers and sisters because we are united in our faith in Jesus. Coming to DTS has shown me that this is so true. I met people from all over the world, brothers and sisters, and for the duration of my school we formed a wonderful family away from my family. I got to learn from others, I was taught new things and I was able to pour into others to see them grow and succeed. It’s not a coincidence that Jesus has called us to live our lives with one another, not in isolation. My roommates became some of my closest friends, and I now have “homes” in many countries.
5. Adventure, fun & challenges
When I signed up, I was nervous about the upcoming season. Honestly, I was afraid I wouldn’t meet anyone I could get along with. But it turned out to be one of the greatest adventures of my life so far. Sure, the lectures were challenging me in my faith and understanding of the Bible - but that’s what causes growth, right? I vividly remember all the fun hang out times, hikes, worship parties and weekend adventures. I was exposed to new things, new foods, new ways of doing things - and I do not regret it. Doing a DTS has brought me live, joy and expanded my understanding of what it can mean to be a follower of Jesus. I said yes to this season, said yes to being challenged and yes to not being comfortable… and I was greatly rewarded. I wouldn’t want to trade the experiences, the lessons learned and the friendships build during my DTS.
- Sven Stuhrmann
YWAM Sarasota staff